Wake Forest Headed Back to College Cup for Second Straight Season
Dec. 8, 2007
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Austin da Luz's goal with 3:21 remaining in the first sudden victory overtime ended a scoreless tie between No. 2 seed Wake Forest and No. 10 seed Notre Dame, sending the Demon Deacons back to the College Cup for the second straight year.
Wake Forest (20-2-2) will face ACC foe Virginia Tech in one semifinal Friday in Cary, N.C. The game is set for 5 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.
Notre Dame ends its season with a record of 14-5-5 and is winless against the Demon Deacons in four tries.
In the overtime period, the teams traded possession with no scoring opportunities until Deacon forward Marcus Tracy gathered the ball and streaked down the right side of the penalty box, racing past Notre Dame defenders. Tracy dribbled toward the back line then found da Luz on the opposite side of the box. Da Luz took the pass, spun around an Irish defender, turned and hit a shot that skipped by diving goalkeeper Chris Cahill and into the bottom left corner of the net.
"A couple guys made runs into the near post and I saw Austin hanging out far post, Tracy said. "He (da Luz) yelled for it so I just tried to put it in and give it to him on his feet, he turned and gave it a great shot."
Da Luz was mobbed by his teammates as he ripped-off his jersey and ran toward the home crowd.
"That crowd was just unbelievable so to be able to celebrate with them was just a real pleasure and there's no better feeling than that," da Luz said.
The goal was da Luz's third of the season and Tracy's assist was his eighth of the year.
"He (da Luz) has given us a big spark off the bench, he's done a tremendous job, Wake Forest Head Coach Jay Vidovich said. "He brings us a tremendous amount of energy, he's very skillful and he's just done a great job with it. He's been a great addition."
The regulation periods offered few scoring opportunities for either team, with the Deacons holding a 13-6 advantage in shots. Wake outshot Notre Dame 15-6 for the game.
With 11:04 remaining in the first half, Tracy was seemingly headed for the first goal of the match when he beat Cahill to a loose ball and dribbled toward an open net. But Notre Dame's Cory Rellas sprinted back to meet Tracy and deflect his shot wide of the net, keeping the score at 0-0.
The match was played before a Spry Stadium record crowd of 4,589, with fans overflowing into the hill area that sits behind the west goal.
Wake Forest will appear in the College Cup in back-to-back years for the first time in school history. The Deacs fell to UC-Santa Barbara in last year's College Cup semifinal 0-0, 4-3 in the shootout.
The shutout was the twelfth of the year for goalkeeper Brian Edwards, who improves to 18-2-1 with the win. Wake Forest is now 13-0-1 at home this season and 18-0-1 win it scores first.
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